Saturday, October 15, 2005

" now feels that his vote can make a difference."

That's how Iraq the Model describes one of his friends who used to think the whole democracy thing was a sham to cover for an American puppet government.

That's real progress. I wish more Americans believed that about their own votes.

The fundamental thing that makes democracy possible is a willingness to abide by the majority vote and to conduct one's efforts for change in a peaceful manner. Those are big steps for societies used to rule by warlords. We'll see if the Sunnis are ready for democracy after this election is over.

Imagine what a treasure we'd consider a blog written during our own revolutionary period and the Constitutional convention. The Iraqis have many of them.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The New Noam

Juan Cole is claiming that the Zawahiri letter is a Shiite forgery.

Uncomfortable in the Majority

National Review announces that it has more in common with the MSM than with the rest of the conservative movement, and demonstrates why conservatives remained in the minority so long, and why they'll soon be in the minority again. They can't settle for success, it has to be perfection.

Too bad they don't have the humility, trust or common sense to adopt the position of Melanie Kirkpatrick. Bush has done things I don't agree with, but I have come to respect his integrity and good judgment in cases where I didn't see them at first. In a way, these complaints about Miers' lack of a body of writing on Constitutional issues is a cloaked complaint about Bush's own difficulty in communicating his ideas and programs as well as Ronald Reagan did. That's why it offends me so much, I guess. His rhetoric hasn't brought us to our feet with patriotism swelling in our hearts. That makes him a failure to some people. But his decisions have done that for me. His actions have demonstrated that he has read the Sermon on the Mount and is trying to live by it. I respect that far more than all the scribblers in the world.

The air out of the balloon

Ann Althouse and her commenters are giving Scrappleface some stiff competition. It's not as though this kind of newswriting is a recent thing, though. Anybody remember Jayson Blair's pieces? Some samples:
Lance Cpl. James Klingel of the Marines finds himself lost in thought these days when he is not struggling with the physical pain, his mind wandering from images of his girlfriend back in Ohio to the sight of an exploding fireball to the sounds of twisting metal.
The Rev. Tandy Sloan has presided over many a funeral and memorial service in his decades as a pastor in a section of the city that has seen its share of violence.
Even today, Linda Davies was still clutching the note that Pfc. Jessica Lynch, her former kindergarten student, sent six weeks ago from the desert of Kuwait , set out on pastel paper in a schoolgirl's round handwriting and marveling at how far she had come from her home in rural West Virginia.

''I can say I've been to places that half of Wirt County will never see,'' Private Lynch, 19, wrote with the wonder and awe of a country girl who had not visited Charleston , the state capital, until she graduated from high school but had now embarked on what she plainly saw as a great adventure.
And the famous:
Gregory Lynch Sr. choked up as he stood on his porch here overlooking the tobacco fields and cattle pastures, and declared that he remained optimistic -- even though a military official had just come by to warn him to brace himself, that even worse news could be coming any day now.

Free at last!

Palestinians are now killing themselves faster than Israelis kill them. The fence seems to be working.

Who gets the Palestinian homeland once they've murdred themselves?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Conservatism needs new pundits

Alicia Colon has one of the best takes on the Miers nomination I've read so far. She doesn't endorse Miers, but she states the position those who don't know her should be taking with clarity and sense.

Blindness at the Court

Hugh Hewitt quotes from an emailer who points out the danger of hubris on the Court created by its lack of judicial restraint. It's a very good point. Go read it.

It reminds me of this passage from Planned Parenthood v. Casey written by O'Connor, Kennedy and Souter, explaining their refusal to overrule Roe v. Wade:
Overruling Roe's central holding would not only reach an unjustifiable result under stare decisis principles, but would seriously weaken the Court's capacity to exercise the judicial power and to function as the Supreme Court of a Nation dedicated to the rule of law. Where the Court acts to resolve the sort of unique, intensely divisive controversy reflected in Roe, its decision has a dimension not present in normal cases, and is entitled to rare precedential force to counter the inevitable efforts to overturn it and to thwart its implementation. Only the most convincing justification under accepted standards of precedent could suffice to demonstrate that a later decision overruling the first was anything but a surrender to political pressure and an unjustified repudiation of the principle on which the Court staked its authority in the first instance. Moreover, the country's loss of confidence in the Judiciary would be underscored by condemnation for the Court's failure to keep faith with those who support the decision at a cost to themselves. A decision to overrule Roe's essential holding under the existing circumstances would address error, if error there was, at the cost of both profound and unnecessary damage to the Court's legitimacy and to the Nation's commitment to the rule of law.
So they can't admit they were wrong, because that would hurt their legitimacy? Think about this sentence again:
"Where the Court acts to resolve the sort of unique, intensely divisive controversy reflected in Roe, its decision has a dimension not present in normal cases, and is entitled to rare precedential force to counter the inevitable efforts to overturn it and to thwart its implementation.
Did it occur to any of these people that it is not the role of the courts "to resolve intensely divisive controvers[ies]?" These are political issues because there are solid arguments on both sides and strong feelings. For the Supreme Court to decide them does not resolve them; it only makes them more divisive, especially when it distorts the plain text of the Constitution so much to get the result. It claims that overruling Roe would damage the Court's legitimacy and the Nation's commitment to the rule of law, but seems oblivious to the point that it has done the same thing, but with worse effect, by charging into the arena of policy and trying to shortcircuit the debate. They have strained at a gnat and swallowed a camel.

McCain's leadership skills

John McCain, gravitas? Don't make me laugh. I can't imagine him being president. He has no experience in running anything. To me, he's a backbencher. As president he would vacillate and fumble and get angry and shoot off his mouth. If he thinks that being a senator is preparation for being president, he's in for a huge surprise. I hope he never gets close.

Marches mean so much

Leonard Pitts, Jr. observes the 10th anniversary of the "Million Man March." While there is still racism in this land, the path to a better life has never been more open to minorities, if they will take advantage of it.

Don't blame the Lord.

Neil Cavuto had a segment about whether the spate of natural disasters recently means God is wreaking vengeance on mankind. Unlikely, since there are still a substantial number of good people here. However, these things, tsunamis, earthquakes, tempests, floods, fires and plagues are signs of the last days, as are wars and rumors of wars. Jesus said that no one knows the day and hour of his coming, that it will be like a thief in the night, but that those who are prepared by living right would not need to fear. So if anybody tells you when he'll return, don't trust it.

I think that blaming things on God shows very little understanding of the way he works. It would have to be a totally corrupt society, utterly without any value left, to justify him in destroying it.

Al Qaeda confirms Bush's policy

I wonder if Barbara Boxer and her crew got their copies of this letter. They're doing their part. They deserve to know that Al Qaeda is doing its.

Bill Buckley is dead?

If not, why is E. J. Dionne writing his eulogy?